No hot leads?  Seriously?!!?

No hot leads? Seriously?!!?

Hot LeadsAre hot leads attitude or reality?  I say attitude!  Some senior living sales people expect a prospective resident to walk in and say, “I have my house on the market and I’m ready to move into your retirement community.”  How often does this happen?  It could happen 20% of the time.  This means 80% of the time, a sales person needs to build a relationship, document it in the database and do the dreaded follow up phone calls.  Oh yeah, it’s called work.  If it was easy selling senior living, retirement counselors would be paid minimum wage.

With proper nurturing, over time, a cool lead can become warm and a warm lead can become hot!

Too many senior living sales people say they don’t have any hot leads.  Yet, if you were a little mouse on their shoulder, while they met with a senior….  This is what you might hear the prospective senior resident say, “I’m not ready yet (NRY).”

In sales they say, don’t listen to the first no.  Well I say, don’t listen to the first 10 NRY!  The senior can still be a hot lead (ready to move in a few months)!

NRY simply translated means I am scared.   It’s hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and move.  It’s a lot of work.  The more time they spend at your retirement community the better.  They will fall in love with your residents.  Then the senior can decide they will gain more by moving into your retirement community, than what they are giving up.

The mindset of the sales person dictates how many hot leads they have.    Believe – truly believe the seniors are ready to move in sooner than what the prospective resident actually says to you.  Typically just cut the time frame a senior says in half.

Please share your success, failures or comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email:

I’m Not Ready Yet!!!!

I’m Not Ready Yet!!!!

When you hear a senior prospect or family member say these words – what runs through your mind first?  How do you respond?  Do you believe them?  At every encounter with a prospective resident, someone always buys the popcorn – either the sales person or the senior!

Recently, I was going through some retirement community’s databases and lead after lead after lead had a “NRY” as the number one response in the notes.  I had to ask, “What is “NRY”?”  The retirement counselors in unison said, “Not ready yet.”  I thought quietly to myself, “Why the heck would anyone put such a negative assertion in his or her database?”  The next time they look at the lead, they are going to immediately think that it’s a crappy lead.

I believe that every lead is great!  If someone hangs up on me, the prospective resident is just having a bad day.  I have actually called these back again and they have been receptive, come in for a tour and eventually moved in.

When someone says they are not ready yet, do you blow the person off like I see some sales people do?  Are you just looking for a quick sale on a silver platter or a 30-day move-in?  Well then you are missing a ton of sales and this is why the occupancy is down at your retirement community.  Real sales people know that persistence pays off.  I have called people every month for one year and then they turned into a sale!  Those can be the most gratifying sales!

Do you have a Negative Nellie working your precious (expensive) senior housing leads that could be potential move-ins?  Believing Betty understands that each lead could be worth thousands of dollars and calls with enthusiasm and passion.  The customer needs to hear us smiling through the phone and feel our energy and excitement when they arrive in person.  We need to believe in our leads and keep calling them back…

When someone says they are not ready yet, they are one fall or one diagnosis away from suddenly wanting to move immediately.  Don’t schedule the next call for one year away, because it’s not the golden goose quick sale.  Understand the frailty of the senior customer and schedule to call them on a quarterly basis or your competition will get this move-in instead of you!

So when a senior tells me that they are not ready yet…this is great…they are interested for the future. The first thought that runs through my mind is: I need to educate them more about the lifestyle!  The second thought I have is: What did I miss saying?  Did I build enough value for health services?  After I learned about them through discovery, did I tailor the tour to their needs?  I need to fill the retirement community today, one year from now and 5 years from now!  So if someone wants to wait a year or two, no problem… my positive contact with them can speed up their decision.  Then when they suddenly want to move in, whom will they think of first?  Well, the nice lady on the phone who was never pushy and always had their best interests at heart…of course!

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  For more information:   Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: